More than 500 travel professionals will be gathered for the Congress of Travel Companies (EdV) in Mauritius. We have to go back to the former Snav congress in Beijing in January 2005 to find such B2B mobilization.

More than 500 pros in plenary

“Our congress in Mauritius is sold out. We don’t have any more rooms,” says Jean-Pierre Mas, president of Entreprises du Voyage (EdV).

How to explain such enthusiasm? “The destination, the competitive price, the desire to meet again after the Covid”, he sums up. Jean-Pierre Mas omits another motivation: the union, through its unwavering commitment during the crisis, alongside other representative bodies of the industry, knows how to mobilize the profession.

The congress will also make it possible to make the meninges work. In plenary first, with professionals and experts. Also during the many workshop sessions, in smaller groups. “The two major topics of the congress are work in the broad sense and global warming, which we will discuss in plenary with players in the field and experts”, specifies the union boss. From cybersecurity to digital strategies, the daily issues of travel operators will be addressed during four sessions of 10 workshops.

The elections in the background

Even if the elections for the successor to Jean-Pierre Mas will take place only for the fall, Wednesday October 4, there is no doubt that this subject will be on everyone’s lips during the many networking moments. Some succession candidates could quietly start their own campaign. Or in any case throw bottles into the sea.

AT The Tourist Echo, we had launched a survey to propose 17 personalities from the sector, at the end of which Guillaume Linton (Asia) came out on top. 17 professionals who have the job profile, and are notably corporate officers. But, let’s remember, all are bosses, and could only take over the management of the employers’ union if they largely delegate their current functions. With one exception, Jean-Pierre Lorente, who sold his company to Marietton Développement. As for a profile like that of Samia Benslimane, identified as a winner by another survey than ours, it seems more than unlikely… Despite all the qualities of this professional, as CEO in tour-operating.

Do not let yourself be polluted by “possible wars of succession”

For Jean-Pierre Mas, who is pursuing his third and final three-year term, the question of elections remains largely premature.

Valérie Boned and Jean-Pierre Mas (EdV)

“We have four months of work. Let’s not pollute them with possible succession wars,” he says.

However, there is no shortage of priority subjects for those “who are not a king” and therefore have “no dolphins”. Starting with digitalization and support for companies in their CSR approach with Opco Mobilités.

“This will also be a major subject of the congress, with three witness regions. Yannick Faucon (EdV Center Est), Michelle Kunegel (EdV Grand Est) and Yvon Peltanche (EdV Center Ouest) will speak in plenary on Saturday 3 June.

The NAOs continue

Another key subject is attractiveness. “We must continue to communicate about our sector, which does not have the positive image it boasted about fifteen years ago. »

With Valérie Boned, general secretary of the EdV, Jean-Pierre Mas works again and again on the mandatory annual negotiations (NAO). The next meeting with the employee unions is scheduled for June 27. “We need to modernize our community agreement and improve the attractiveness of our sector. Our relations with trade unions are not simple. But I do not despair of achieving this, especially on seniority bonuses. We are talking together to get groups A and B back above the Smic, which could be upgraded in July or September. »

Slowdown in activity?

The congress will also be an opportunity to take the pulse of the market, between distributors, producers and other transporters. While the post-Covid recovery remains strong, several professionals note a slight slowdown in May.

“The month of May saw a certain drop in reservations, but I have no figures. According to our observatory, travel reservations for the summer of 2023 increased by 8% in number of files, and by 30% in turnover. But that doesn’t mean we’ll be showing those same trends at the end of August. There is more anticipation than before. French people who take vacations know that there are no more last-minute promotions. Travelers often save the most money by booking early. Especially since the end of charter flights, which has rid TOs of unsold items.

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